Stress voiding in wide copper lines
- Conference date: 25-27 July 2001
- Location: Ithaca, New York (USA)
Hot Stage optical microscopy was used to make in-situ observations of stress void formation in wide (10–30 μm) passivated copper lines. It was found that void nucleation and growth occurred readily where grain boundaries intersected the top copper/dielectric interface. Void closure was observed to occur on heating to temperatures above 300 °C indicating that the lines are in compression above this temperature. Isothermal holds at temperatures below 300 °C caused void growth to occur with the highest density of voids being observed at 200 °C. Cycling to temperatures above the maximum process temperature the structure received (400 °C) was found to cause an increase in the density of void nucleation sites activated at the lower void growth temperature. Based on the observations we suggest that localized regions of triaxial stress arise at grain boundaries in wide copper lines causing enhanced void nucleation at the copper/dielectric interface. Possible causes of localized stresses at grain boundaries are discussed including grain boundary sliding and the mismatch of the elastic properties across grain boundaries.
- Grain boundaries
- Interface structure
- Optical microscopy
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